Title IX regulations will change employee responsibilities

The University of Oregon will implement an emergency policy on Aug. 1, to comply with changes to the federal Title IX regulations. Under the emergency policy, all faculty and staff must report disclosures of discrimination, harassment and retaliation, including those made by students, to the Title IX coordinator. Revisions to Title IX regulations will broaden employee reporting responsibilities on UO campuses and will end the use of employee categories to determine who is and is not required to report disclosures.

“The federal rule-making process has run its course, including a public comment period, during which the UO and other higher education institutions advocated for the option to maintain existing policies,” said Nicole Commissiong, associate vice president, chief civil rights officer and Title IX coordinator. “Now that there are final regulations with a deadline to comply, we must adjust and adapt our policy and practices accordingly.”

Title IX is a federal statute that prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation on the basis of sex in university programs, activities and employment. The following key points will help faculty and staff prepare for changes: 

  • New Title IX regulations specifically state that anyone with responsibility for teaching, advising, or administrative leadership is obligated to notify the Title IX coordinator of sex-based discrimination and harassment to ensure the university can respond effectively by offering support and options for addressing what happened. Under the emergency policy, students will retain agency to decide how they want to move forward.  
  • Under the revised regulations and UO emergency policy, there will no longer be a list of designated reporters who have a duty to report. Instead, all faculty and staff will be expected to report disclosures of sex discrimination, harassment and retaliation to the Title IX coordinator. The obligation to report will not be at a student's discretion.
  • Title IX regulations allow for certain employees to be designated as confidential. There will continue to be confidential employees at the UO, those with professional obligations and/or commitments to confidentiality, who will maintain confidentiality while offering information, resources and reporting options to students, including confidential advocates in the Care and Advocacy Program in the Office of the Dean of Students.  
  • The Office of Investigations and Civil Rights Compliance is updating training materials and other resources for the UO community. Faculty and staff will receive specific training in late summer or early fall to prepare for their reporting responsibilities.  

A committee of faculty and staff will be formed in the fall to help develop a permanent policy on prohibited discrimination and retaliation that best complies with federal and state regulations.

More information, resources and guidance are available on the OICRC website. Employees can get assistance by emailing oicrc@uoregon.edu.